I was reminded about the value of these six discipleship practices in an article entitled The D-Life Process. I encourage you to read the entire article. Here I want to share the six practices and then comment on each.
- Fellowship. Community and relationships are essential for discipleship. Even self-discipleship cannot escape fellowship and communion with our Lord. Discipling by its very nature means investing in others. Jesus modeled fellowship in choosing and investing in the twelve disciples.
- Teaching. This includes words and life. Teaching includes content, practices, wisdom, and experiences. Teaching is about life-change and obedience. Every disciple at every level, including new believers has something to share with (teach) others.
- Prayer. We are His disciples. As such, regular conversation with Him is essential. Prayer and Bible study are two halves of talking to Him and listening to Him. They should be practiced together.
- Ministry. This is the natural outflow of fellowship, teaching, and prayer. We are to care, help, and serve. We are to learn from and live out Jesus’ words and example. We are to practice what He is saying to us and what we are learning. We are to observe (obey) what He commanded with each other and in the world.
- Multiplication. Just like cells in the human body, disciples multiply themselves into others. They share what they know. They share Jesus. Training others is an essential part of multiplication. Disciples walk with those being discipled while they learn.
- Accountability. This is less about guilt and more about encouragement, about cheerleading others toward obedience. Disciples challenge those they are discipling to live for Jesus, to live out their commitments. This is more than reporting homework. It is sharing the journey.
While you might choose different words to represent these discipleship practices, there is little doubt of their essential nature for discipleship. Which of these practices is strongest in your practice of discipleship? On which do you need to work, to improve? Make disciples!